By Ana Elsner
[Di PRIMA by Ana Elsner was published in Ambush Review - Poems for the 21st Century, Premiere Issue, 2010.]
Diane di Prima, born 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, is known as the most prominent woman Beat poet and a fervent social justice activist. She succeeded in making a breakthrough as a liberated female intellectual. Her writing spans imagist, political and mystical modes. It also deals with her extraordinary life, creative expression of identity, sexual experimentation and personal introspection. As early as in her high school days she made a lifelong commitment to be a poet. After coming to California, Di Prima first joined the Diggers, a radical community-action group of Improv actors in the Haight-Ashbury and lived in a commune. Later she studied Zen Buddhism, Sanskrit and alchemy, and raised her five children. Much of her writing reflects on female archetypes and Eastern philosophies. Di Prima is a poet, prose writer, memoirist, playwright, activist and teacher and the author of 44 books of poetry and prose. She served as the fifth Poet Laureate of San Francisco.
"Sweetheart, when you break thru you'll find a poet here, not quite what one would choose." -Diane di Prima
Ana Elsner's poem about poet George Tsongas
Ana Elsner pays tribute to poet Tony Vaughan]